Cineplex to bring ‘Sunday Night Football,’ Super Bowl to movie theatres

Seven games leading up to the Super Bowl will be hosted in the adults-only VIP cinemas

A man makes his way down an escalator during the Cineplex Entertainment company’s annual general meeting in Toronto on May 17, 2017. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press)

Cineplex has scored a deal to bring “Sunday Night Football” and the Super Bowl to its movie theatres.

The company said Friday that a three-year sponsorship agreement with the National Football League will begin Nov. 12 and be known as “NFL Sundays at Cineplex.”

Games will be broadcast live to 15 VIP theatres and then expand to 50 locations for the Super Bowl on Feb. 4, 2018.

“It’s no different than when we started opera and some of the other things that we’ve done to create and bring a different demographic, a different group of people, into our theatres,” said Cineplex president Ellis Jacob, pointing to other sporting events the chain has featured, including NHL and NBA games, the Olympics, and UFC and WWE events.

Seven games leading up to the Super Bowl will be hosted in the adults-only VIP cinemas, which feature wider recliners and in-seat food and beverage service that includes beer, wine and spirits.

Jacob said it’s all part of Cineplex’s efforts to reinvent itself as “an entertainment destination” that is far more than just popcorn and Hollywood films.

Hence, a growing roster of “event-cinema” offerings such as live opera and theatre broadcasts, as well as investments in the esports platform WorldGaming and various entertainment centres including the upcoming Topgolf venues, the eats-and-entertainment spot The Rec Room, and a relaunch of the Playdium arcades.

An especially weak summer in movie profits didn’t help the bottom line, Jacob acknowledged, calling it “a hard year at the box office.”

“I wouldn’t panic because we’ve always had these cyclical events,” said Jacob, predicting a bounce-back in the fourth quarter.

“This is part of our focus to try and balance that out over a period of time. Because as we’ve seen with the Hollywood product, you’ve got good periods and then you can basically run into some slow growth periods. (But) with the NFL, we are committing and getting three years worth of content so it’s not like I’m waiting for the next movie to come out.”

NFL Canada’s managing director David Thomson also saw an opportunity to broaden the league’s audience, stating in a release that the partnership targets the next generation of fans, in part through online tournaments on Cineplex’s WorldGaming platform.

Tickets will be $5 and are available at participating VIP theatres in Abbotsford, Coquitlam and Vancouver.

Cassandra Szklarski, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Protect pets from canine flu

Sylvan Lake veterinarian spoke to the Sylvan Lake News about the canine flu

Skate safe floor installed

The Benalto train station’s transformation into a community recreation facility continues

WATCH: Lacombe and Red Deer Chambers prepare members for cannabis legalization

Luncheon speaker educates businesses on marijuana policies

WATCH: STARS lottery returns for 25th year

$500,000 grand prize up for grabs in support of air ambulance

WATCH: Lacombe and Red Deer Chambers prepare members for cannabis legalization

Luncheon speaker educates businesses on marijuana policies

Bad timing: Shutdown spoils Trump’s one-year festivities

Trump spends day trying to hash out a deal with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer

Las Vegas shooter acted alone, exact motive still undetermined: Sheriff

Stephen Paddock was behind the gunfire that killed 58 people including two Canadians

Botox, bomb shelters, and the blues: one year into Trump presidency

A look into life in Washington since Trump’s inauguration

Suspected Toronto serial killer targeting gay community arrested

A 66-year-old man is charged with first-degree murder in disappearance of two Toronto men

Barenaked Ladies, Steven Page, to be inducted into Canadian Music Hall of Fame

Canadian band to get top honours at 2018 JUNO Awards

B.C. out of the running for Amazon’s next headquarters

Toronto is the only Canadian city left in the running despite the province backing Metro Vancouver’s bid for new Amazon headquarters

Post interest rate hike debt tips

What to do about your debt and mortgages after the interest rate hike

Foreign workers sleeping in Alberta Burger King basement

Alberta Health Services said its inspectors found foreign workers sleeping in the basement of the Lethbridge restaurant

Most Read